The Invisible Mile
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The Invisible Mile

3.16 (91 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Based on a true story The Invisible Mile tells the poignant story of five Australian and New Zealand cyclists who in 1928 formed the first English-speaking team to ride in the Tour de France. They were gallant, under-resourced and badly outnumbered but taken deep to the heart by the French nation. The novel describes in a wonderful poetic and visceral voice what it was like to ride in this race (the chaos, danger and rivalries), the extraordinary lengths to which the riders pushed themselves, suffering horrific injuries, riding through the night in pitch dark, and the ways they staved off the pain, through camaraderie, through sexual conquest, through drink, and through drugs (cocaine for energy, opium for pain). Added to the team is the fictional narrator who is cycling towards his demons in a northern France still scarred by the First World War. His brother was a fighter pilot damaged by his experiences in France, his sister has died, and this self-imposed test of endurance is slowly and painfully bringing him to his final, invisible mile where memory eventually comes to collide with the pastshow more

Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 135 x 216 x 26mm | 453g
  • Pan MacMillan
  • PICADOR
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main Market Ed.
  • 1509822917
  • 9781509822911
  • 134,753

Review quote

Bruising, beautiful and ultimately transcendent, there's a perfect thought on sport, humanity or endurance on just about every page -- Markus Zuzak, author of The Book Thief I thought it was absorbing, and on many levels. It's a book about violence, youth, mythology, history, guilt and love - all set to the agonising rhythm of an inhuman bike race. Some achievement! Fictionalised accounts of sporting events don't always work, but this has the same feeling of total immersion as I remember feeling when I read David Peace's The Damned United -- Ned Boulting, cycling broadcaster and author Armchair Olympians who pine for some purer, pre-doping epoch of competitive sports might resist this gorgeous bummer of a period novel, narrated by a cyclist from New Zealand who ingests cocaine, ephedrine and little white booster pills in between sprints ... Coventry's brooding narrative, in varying parts philosophical action-adventure, travelogue, family drama, war chronicle and psychological puzzler, is suffused with the ever-querying perspective of its haunted central character ... sumptuous language. * The New York Times *show more

About David Coventry

David Coventry received his MA in 2010 from the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University. The Invisible Mile was published in New Zealand by Fergus Barrowman at Victoria University Press (the NZ publisher of Eleanor Catton) on June 11th 2016 to reviews calling the book "brilliant", "a tour de force", an "important and impressive debut" and "a dream to read". The Invisible Mile debuted at #2 on the NZ bestseller list and remained in the Top Ten for three straight months afterwards.show more

Rating details

91 ratings
3.16 out of 5 stars
5 20% (18)
4 15% (14)
3 33% (30)
2 25% (23)
1 7% (6)
Book ratings by Goodreads
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